I have had four over the last six years stolen or destroyed. Two of which were taken before I started locking them to a tree. The others were just destroyed once they figured out they could not break the cable.
This has been one of my major fears, especially since most of my cams are on Public Ground.
Just last weekend I ask the girl at Wal-Mart if she would notice a pix of a sign on a roll of film that would say something like "if the person who brought this in is not "XXXXX" then this cam is stolen, please call me at "xxxxxx". She said she probably would notice it. (This Idea is on Jesse's site somewhere BTW)
She also said somebody was just in and said his cam was stolen, he left a pix of himself because his pix was on the cam just stolen....
I had a conservation official find one of my cams, he mentioned it to a fellow worker who knew I had some out.......he never touched it and I'm sure glad he was an honest guy
A buddy just reported to me today that one of the cameras that was built for him was slightly damaged, possibly by a buck (?). There were a few gouges near the PIR lense hole, the lense was loose, and the rubber cap was torn off. The camera has 5 pics on it so it will be interesting to see what it caught.
As far as theft or damage cause by other people, I have none to report......and I hope I never do! <crossing fingers>
I am in the process of build them. But here is what I plan to do. There will be a note inside the camera.
It will state something like this.
Since you have found my camera, please do not steal it. If have already stolen it. Please return it to the tree. BECAUSE, I already have your picture on one of the many other cameras that are out in the woods. Your picture will be given to the authorities and you will be prosecuted. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Just had my first bear attack. He/She put a hole in the sensor, and gnawed on the PVC box but other than that the cam was intact. It was hanging on one side to the bungie cord. I set it back up, brushed it off and even with the the hole in the fresnal lense the cam was still a workin!
I like your NOTE Idea, it def can't hurt anything and may help.
I remember about 2 or 3 months ago someone's 2nd camera took the "Enemy's" pix and I believe he said the culpret got convicted, wish we had a newspaper article of this event to include in the cam enclosure for more "Ammunition" in case someone did take it.......
People are basically honest, but I guess it still depends on the neighborhood? Out here in Northern California the weekend hikers are usually high tech or yuppie types, and are not interested vandalizing. However, I do put a little sign on my cams, "Study in Process" that kind of officiates the gaget for them.